Michael Bastasch, DCNF
- Former EPA official Samantha Dravis spoke out against now disproven accusations leveled by Democrats.
- Democrats accused her of missing months of work while at EPA, but investigators found no evidence of this.
- “This was an allegation that was completely unfounded from the start,” Dravis said.
Democratic Delaware Sen. Tom Carper was silent on news federal investigators could not substantiate allegations he brought against former Environmental Protection Agency political appointee Samantha Dravis.
Dravis, however, called the allegations against her “unfounded from the start.” EPA investigators found no support for accusations she skipped work for a three-month period.
“The inspector general process should be used to investigate credible ethical breaches, not smear and destroy political enemies,” Dravis told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“This was an allegation that was completely unfounded from the start, and entirely contradicted by the record,” said Dravis, who served as EPA’s senior counsel and associate administrator of the policy office.
Carper did not respond to multiple requests for comment, despite being the reason EPA officials investigated Dravis’s attendance while she worked for former Administrator Scott Pruitt. Carper is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
A source close to matter told TheDCNF one of Carper’s staffers openly bragged about sparking an investigation into Dravis. That same staffer also asked Dravis’s associates for help accessing her personal photos on social media, said the source, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation.
Carper asked the EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) in March to investigate whether Dravis missed three months of work while still collecting a paycheck. Carper’s letter does not reveal his source, but Democrats eventually disclosed it was one among many accusations leveled by whistleblower Kevin Chmielewski.
Chmielewski gave Democrats a laundry list of accusations against Pruitt and his close aides, including Dravis. The former EPA official told Democrats “for a period of weeks, he did not personally see Samantha Dravis” at EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Pruitt resigned in July as allegations of ethical misconduct and mismanagement piled up. However a number of Chmielewski’s claims against Pruitt’s aides didn’t add up under closer scrutiny.
Dravis left EPA in April while investigators were still researching claims she was absent from work for three months. For months, Dravis and her family were distressed, and forced to spend thousands on legal fees to deal with the investigation.
However, OIG could not substantiate Chmielewski’s claim that Dravis was absent for weeks at a time.
“Investigators interviewed witnesses, who stated that the employee was often in the EPA office and attended meetings during that time frame,” OIG wrote in a report submitted to Congress Thursday.
“Investigators reviewed records, which showed that the employee worked during the time specified,” OIG reported. “Witnesses also stated that the employee did not have subordinates conduct menial tasks. During an interview, the subject denied both allegations. The allegations were not supported.”
Dravis’s former co-workers took to Twitter to castigate Carper for sparking the investigation.
I know Samantha very well. She is extremely talented and diligent. Clownish Senator @TomCarperforDE should be ashamed of himself for his lame attempt to smear a capable public servant who has been totally vindicated. https://t.co/xh3tMiXCwp
— Ron Nehring (@RonNehring) November 30, 2018
Samantha was the victim of a sexist smear that was absurd on its face but leveled by Senators anyway. Am glad this was cleared up without caveat. https://t.co/UqAO7UIdvN
— Tim Miller (@Timodc) November 30, 2018
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